The Acer Liquid Gallant Duo is your typical mid-range smartphone, with a 4.3-inch 540x960 resolution screen and a 1GHz processor to power through Android 4.0. But it also packs a secret twist: there are two SIM card slots instead of one, so you can stuff your work and play SIMs into one handset and field calls from both on the go. On paper, your pocket never had it so good. Is that the case in practice?
The Acer Liquid Gallant Duo’s not the fastest phone on the block, by any means. But it’s a very easy to use one: it runs almost vanilla Android 4.0 as Google designed it, which is easy to to use (of course, you shouldn’t count on an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean any time ever), and has access to 600,000 apps on the Google Play store.
But the tweaks Acer have made are for the better. You’ll find the excellent Swype keyboard, which lets you drag your finger across the screen to type quickly, installed. And Acer’s made it about as painless as possible to control the two SIMs from a single app, and set which calls are made from, or have the phone prompt you everytime you go to dial.
At just £161.99, the Acer Liquid Gallant Duo is also a bit of a bargain. There aren’t many smartphones with this much power under the bonnet for the price, single or dual-SIM. That said, you won’t find the Duo on sale through networks: you’ll need to pay for it upfront.
We can cope with the uninspired build of the Gallant Duo. Just, any rate: its 9.9mm profile is pretty chunky and bland, and the sharp screen is difficult to see in direct sunlight. The five megapixel snaps are so so, and there’s no front facing camera for video chats. Nothing too shocking for the price.
But what on earth was the company thinking when it stuck the power-screenlock button on the back, next to the camera? It’s a nightmare to track down, and not something we’re used to phone makers getting wrong in this day or age.
There’s also the issue of managing those two lines. Acer has made it as easy to juggle as possible, but, well, there’s only so much fuss it can remove from the equation. Want to call a friend on a different line to the one you usually do? Need to switch which line is using 3G so you can stream some Spotify without angering the boss? Trust us, it all gets a bit fiddly. This has to be something you really, truly need, not want.
The bottom line
Acer Liquid Gallant Duo is an impressive effort for the price: if you’re after a dual-SIM smartphone there really is no better option out there right now, in spite of the elusive power button. As neat as dual-SIM sounds though, we can think of something more people would probably prefer though: a smartphone stuffed with better hardware and more up to date software. Samsung and Apple don’t need to sweat just yet.
Acer Liquid Gallant Duo review unit kindly provided by Expansys